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Regional News of Friday, 23 September 2022


Governor Uzodinma justifies military bombing of Imo communities, markets

Imo State Governor, Governor Hope Uzodinma Imo State Governor, Governor Hope Uzodinma

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has justified the killing and bombing of Ekeututu in the Orsu Local Government Area of the state allegedly carried out by Nigerian troops.

SaharaReporters had reported that troops of the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force bombed Ekeututu market and residential houses, killing several people and destroying property worth millions of naira belonging to the local populace.

Since the incident, the army and other security agencies have been silent on the issue, as public outrage continues to trail the unimaginable destruction visited on the local community.

SaharaReporters had also reported that the Catholic Church condemned the bombing of Ekeututu market and residential houses, describing it as genocide and the government’s attempt to subdue the people.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also condemned the invasion and bombing, accusing Governor Uzodinma of terrorising and killing innocent people of the state, using security agents.

Reacting to the development during a press conference at the Government House, the governor justified the killings and bombing of the market.

He also vowed to continue to wipe out what he described as criminal elements in the state, particularly in Orsu.

“Last Saturday, a joint security force, which arrested a bandit, took him after his confession to guide them to where they operate from and manufacture the explosives.

“It turned out to be Ekeututu market.

“They discovered four shops where fertilisers, ammonium sulphate and electrical gadgets used in manufacturing explosives were packed,” he said.

He, however, advised members of opposition parties and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to stop inciting insecurity in the state.

Uzodinma said instead of encouraging the breakdown of the law and order, opposition members and IPOB should support the state to prosper.

Although he said his administration did not approve of the killing of innocent people in Ekeututu, he announced that an Army Major was killed in that operation while a captain was critically injured.

Uzodinma said while his administration regretted the destruction of shops and other economic structures in the market during the operation, his government would ensure that all the bandits terrorising the state were decimated.

He said his government would work out modalities to compensate traders whose goods and wares were destroyed during the operation.

Uzodinma expressed regrets over the “collateral damage” suffered during the raid.

He, therefore, promised to rebuild the market.

“So, when Eke-Ututu Market is destroyed to give Imo peace, the Government will also rebuild it.

“If, in the process, there are innocent traders who lost their items, the Government will work out compensation for them.

“But the government has a responsibility to fight crime,” Uzodinma said.

The governor said his administration is not masterminding genocide in the area, asking his opponents to return from Abuja and visit the scene of the incident.

He also debunked the allegation that he hacked into the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission in his Omuma ward in the Oru East Local Government Area of the state and manipulated the figures.

The governor dispelled the allegation by one of the counsels for the detained leader of the IPOB, Alloy Ejimoakor, that his administration was killing people in the community with the state-owned Ebubeagu Security Personnel.